JBR Splash Area
Take the kids to the new Splash Area at The Beach at JBR to cool off in the water play area. As they splash and tip water, you can keep cool paddling in the shallow water.
Dhs60 (per hour) or Dhs100 for day pass. Open daily 9am-8pm. JBR The Beach (next to Hilton Hotel), JBR, Dubai Marina.
Arabian Water Park
This blow-up waterpark is located 100m out to sea, just off The Beach at JBR. It’s suitable for older kids who are able to swim out to the inflatables from shore – and it’s well worth the effort, with trampolines, climbing walls, and platforms to jump into the sea.
Dhs50 (per child) Dhs60 (per adult), Dhs195 for a day pass. Daily 8am-noon, 3pm-7pm. Arabian Water Park at The Beach, JBR www.arabianwaterparks.com (04 388 3223).
Marina Walk Fountains
Head to Marina Walk and let your brood splash around in the dancing fountains to keep cool. Just make sure bring you pack spare sets of clothes, as they are going to get very wet!
Free. Open daily. Marina Walk (next to Starbucks), Dubai Marina.
Older kids can spot sharks and stingray as they rush through tunnels and ride the rapids in single or double inflatable rings, whilst little ones can head to the kids’ play area or enjoy time playing on the beach.
Dhs250 (for adults) Dhs205 (for kids below 1.2 metres), Dhs165 (resident rate, for adults) Dhs140 (resident rate for kids below 1.2 metres). Daily, 10am-sunset. Atlantis Hotel, Palm Jumeirah, Al Sufouh Road. www.atlantisthepalm.com (04 426 0000).
Wild Wadi is one of the most popular waterparks in the UAE, with the chance for younger kids to enjoy fun activities including racing slides and water guns and older adrenaline junkies to enjoy Tantrum Alley, Burj Surj, and Riptide Flowriders.
Dh275 (for adults), Dh215 (for kids under 1.1 meters). Between Jumeirah Beach Hotel and Burj Al Arab. www.wildwadi.com (04 348 4444).
Dreamland Aqua Park
The largest waterpark in the region at 250,000 square meters, attractions include a Family Raft Ride, the Dead Sea (a high salination pool for floating), the Black Hole (a slide in total darkness), and Kamjkaze (the fastest ride at the park for only the bravest).
Dhs135 (for adults) Dhs85 (for kids under 1.2m tall). Open daily 10am-6pm. Dreamland Aqua Park, Umm Al Quwain. www.dreamlanduae.com (06 768 1888).
Iceland Water Park
Kids will love the slides, wave pools, lazy rivers, and the largest rain dance pool in the world at this Ras Al Khaimah water park. With an arctic theme, it’s perfect for warm days when the whole family wants to cool down.
Dhs150 (for adults), Dhs100 (for kids under 1.2 metres). Open Sun-Wed 10am-7pm, Fri 10am-6pm (ladies night 8pm-midnight), Thurs and Sat (10am-8pm). Ras Al Khaimah. www.icelandwaterpark.com (07 2067 888).
Meet the animals
The Ultimate Snorkel
Kids from six years old can meet underwater creatures at this exciting snorkelling experience where they will be guided through an underwater habitat to 65,000 marine animals.
Dh225 (with snorkel and mask as souvenir). Atlantis Hotel, Palm Jumeirah, Al Sufouh Road. www.atlantisthepalm.com (04 426 0000).
Swim with Dolphins
If your kids have always wanted to swim with dolphins, book them a very special treat at Dubai Dolphinarium. Suitable for kids aged five and above (with an adult supervising), they will get to swim and play with the dolphins in the water for an experience that will last a lifetime.
Dh550 (for group sessions), Dhs2100 (for private sessions of maximum three people). Dubai Dolphinarium, Dubai Creek Park, Gate 1, Umm Hurrair. www.dubaidolphinarium.ae (04 3369773).
Pirate Surf Rescue Team
With little ones in Dubai spending so much time on the beach, it’s important they understand how to stay safe in the surf – and this class, for children from ages six to 13, teaches kids how and where to swim, body boarding and surfing skills, and various life saving techniques. Class members keep fit dashing around on the sand and swimming in the sea – and it’s lots of fun too! The next term begins in January, with pre-registration necessary.
Dhs1500 (per 15-week term). Classes take place every Sat 8.30am-10am and Tues 5pm-6pm. Pirates Surf Rescue Team, Kite Surfing Beach www.facebook.com/PiratesSurfDubai (055 527 8931).
Baby Splash Swimming classes
Baby Splash swimming classes are held at five locations across Dubai, with classes available during the week and weekend. The classes get babies and toddlers used to being in water, while parents will love the al fresco settings too.
Dhs825 (per 11-week term). Classes take place throughout the week. The Lakes, The Meadows, Dubai Ladies Club, Mirdiff, and Old Town, Dubai, www.babysplashdubai.com.